Blind Dog Goes On 1,100-Mile Hike To Help Get Her Confidence Back

Kyle Rohrig was contemplating a trip to the Florida Trail but there was just one problem: his dog would not be able to come along. While Katana (a Shiba Inu) would love to make the journey, he was not sure if her body was actually ready for it. This was understandable, for sure. She is blind and struggles with any number of physical challenges that come her way.

In fact, this lengthy hike would be hard enough for an able bodied human to complete. These types of hikes tend to be a sink or swim affair. “I wasn’t going to let her sink,” Kyle said. He knew that the dog would need his help and he was prepared to assist her every step of the way. This is one of the most selfless things that a pet owner can do for their animal.

Katana used to be able to hike with the best of them. Kyle says that she was rather proficient until her vision finally started to fade. They had conquered the Appalachian Trail together before glaucoma struck. The dynamic duo had even taken on the Pacific Crest Trail, which spans for over 2,600 miles. Her eyesight had abandoned in the midst of the latter trek.

Kyle was forced to cut this hike short, so that she could receive the necessary medical attention. The once confident dog suffered in the aftermath of her surgery, though. Katana was not nearly as sure of herself as she once was and the surgery had robbed her of her usual verve. This made her father very sad. He did not want to think that their days of adventuring had come to a close.

Once the dog started to get used to her condition, Kyle came up with an awesome plan. He had tentative plans to hike the Florida Trail before she lost her eyesight.

Considering the circumstances, he figured that this would be the perfect test for Katana. The two spent 72 days making their way through all of the challenges that the trail had to offer.

When Katana got too tired, Kyle would carry her on his shoulders. She would still try her very best, though. Katana could handle one or two miles of hiking each day without assistance.

It made her father happy to see her doing so well. She’s now back home and applying the lessons of this awesome adventure on a daily basis. To learn more about Katana and her dad’s adventures, you can follow them on Instagram and check out their blog.

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